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Thumbs up Report: 'Media consumption increasing' - 19-April-2010, 15:50

Report: 'Media consumption increasing'

Monday, April 19 2010, 12:26 BST

By Andrew Laughlin,

People are consuming more television, online news and video on-demand content, but are increasingly expecting free access to the services, new research has revealed.

According to a report by KPMG Media, average spending per UK consumer on traditional media, such as newspapers and magazines, declined from 9.19 in September 2009 to 7.46 last month. Spending on digital media fell from 1.99 to 98p over the same period.

A KPMG-commissioned YouGov study of media consumption among 1,037 people revealed that time spent accessing media actually increased during the six months.

Average monthly consumption of traditional media grew from 11 hours 40 minutes in September last year to 12 hours 13 minutes in March 2010. Hours spent consuming digital media increased even further, from 6 hours 14 minutes to 7 hours 28 minutes over the same period.

However, the survey revealed that 21% of respondents paid nothing last month to read newspapers, compared to 15% six months ago. The figure jumped to 41% for people living in London, up from 23%.

For print magazines, 19% of those surveyed said that they had paid nothing to access the content they wanted last month, up from 12% six months ago.

Despite many publishers confirming plans to introduce pay-walls for their content, 88% of consumers accessed online news for free in March, up from 84% in September 2009.

Just 10% of non-subscribers said that they anticipated becoming a paid subscriber over the coming 12 months. When asked what content they would pay to access, 55% said music, 45% said film, 31% said online newspapers/magazines and 30% said television.

The study found that 24% of respondents now use video on-demand services, up from 19% in September last year. Over a quarter (27 percent) of respondents had viewed a 3D film at the cinema over the past year, but only 15% indicated that they were likely to purchase a 3D television set when they become available.

KPMG Media head of media UK David Elms said that the report's findings demonstrate the "structural decline in revenues" facing the media sector.

"Online users are increasing. [But] online subscription models remain in their infancy and once more developed should provide a platform for significantly higher online revenues," he said.

"There is considerable focus on driving digital media revenues. Respondents indicated they do access more media because of online availability, but the tide has not yet turned as the majority of us still prefer consuming media offline.

Elms added: "Only a quarter favoured online media access compared with 43% who said offline and a third said it didn't make a difference. Creating integrated business models which make the most of both traditional and digital business models is therefore key for the sector.

"It is early days with new technologies like VOD, 3DTV and e-readers, but they are examples of the innovations and platforms which can help drive new areas of revenue of the media sector in a digital age."

YouGov's online panel conducted the research between September 11 and 14, 2009 and March 15 and 18, 2010, with the UK survey sample all aged 16 and over.

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